Marius was fighting a case in a village outside Paris, and had been away for almost a week already. It was only July, and Cosette missed him terribly. She was having trouble falling asleep in such a large bed in a large room all by herself and she missed Marius' warm skin next to her own. Furthermore, she was bored. Marius didn't work often and she spent a lot of her day with him, and she whiled her time away doing things around the house, or going for walks with grandfather. But he couldn't walk as long as she. Cosette was missing her favorite conversationalist. Moreover, she missed her father desperately, and was still mourning. Marius was the only one who could make her feel better.

She had taken to staying up quite late reading, so that when she finally went to bed she could fall asleep right away. It was Wednesday night, and Marius was due back sometime on Friday. The rest of family had gone to bed, and she sat in the drawing room alone, reading by the light of two candles. It was ten o'clock, and she sat in her wrapper and warm slippers. She smiled to herself… only two more nights… she thought and opened her book. She was almost done, and was intending on finishing it that night. She liked the book a lot, and was very interested. Cosette liked books and she loved reading, and this book captivated her. For that reason, she didn't look up for two hours after opening her book, until she heard the front door open.

She jumped up, and her heart was beating loudly in her chest. She could scarcely breathe. Someone's breaking in…! she thought. And I'm all alone down here. The doors had been locked, she could have sworn. What was wrong with Basque? But Cosette was not someone easy to frighten. She stood up on shaking knees, and tip-toed towards the door from the living room, which lead into the entrance hall.

She was about to turn the corner and look, but she was too frightened. If he saw her, she would surely be done for. Cosette swallowed, trying not to imagine all the things a thief could do with his knife (she was especially not thinking about the things Toussaint had said to her last year, when she thought a thief was in the garden). But back then, she had been foolish.

Cosette took in a deep breath and closed her eyes, hoping she had imagined everything. But she continued hearing footsteps. If it's a thief, why isn't he getting a move on? She thought. It sounds like he's hanging up a coat. She realized she had very little time left. The only exit from this room led straight into the entrance hall, where the thief was. But I'm in the living room… surely he'll come here first…! What could she do?

Finally, she summed up all the courage she had inside of her, grabbed the fireplace poker, and turned the corner.

The thief was still by the door, obscured in shadow. He was wearing a dark coat, and was bent over; she couldn't even see the back of his head. Her heart was beating even faster, and she blinked tears out of her eyes. What could she do now? She wished that she were upstairs in bed already, but what could she do? Cosette thought of running past him out the backdoor, but the floors creaked. And besides, she could hardly leave everyone in the house with him. But she couldn't fight him. Oh, I'll have to try!

Just then she heard a small thud, and saw that the thief had removed his boots. What?! She shook her head. It was a miracle he hadn't noticed her yet. Walking forward, she looked away and raised the poker behind her. I hope this doesn't cause serious damage, thought she, because, even when a cold-blooded thieving murderer came into her house, Cosette didn't want to cause pain.

The thief stood up before she lowered the poker onto him, and she gasped and dropped the poker. It clattered to the ground, and the 'thief' nearly jumped out of his skin.

"Marius!" she whispered happily.

"Cosette! You scared me half to death! Have you been standing there this whole time?" he saw the poker. "Were you going to hit me with that thing?"

"I scared you half to death? You must never do that to me again, monsieur. I was confident that the house was being broken into! You weren't due back for two days…"

"I'm sorry," he said sincerely. "But… if someone did break in, you were going to fight them?"

"I knew he'd come into the living room first, and I was in there reading. I had to protect myself somehow. And you must admit, if you're away, that makes me the most able-bodied to do it- who else? Grandfather, or your Aunt?"

Marius shrugged. "I suppose you're right. Not that that makes me feel any better… you, fighting off thieves… well, at least I know the house will be safe," he teased, then smiled. "But I haven't given you a proper greeting." He pulled her to him tightly and kissed her. A few moments later, the broke apart, but their faces were barely an inch apart. "Hello," he murmured.

"Hello," she sighed. "I have missed you so much…" she kissed him again.

"Me as well… I scarcely slept at all…"

"Me neither. I'm quite glad you're home early… not that we'll sleep tonight…" she smiled.

"A week without you, cherie, is too long."

"Oh, mon amor, I completely understand… You must tell me everything, darling, that you've done while you were away."

"And I shall… though most of it will bore you-"

"You always say that, and it never does. Not if you are the one telling it," she smiled and he kissed her again.

"Alright, most of it bored me. But if you want to know then I will certainly tell you… tomorrow."

"Fine with me," Cosette sighed. She threw her arms around Marius' neck and kissed him with fervor, and he lifted her off her feet slightly. A giggle broke through her lips, and before they knew it they had made it upstairs.

Cosette untied his necktie and unbuttoned his shirt; and he removed her dressing gown. She kicked off her slippers and he unwound the ribbon in her hair, tangling his fingers in the chestnut silk. They fell back onto the bed and scrambled under the covers, laughing as they got caught in them. Finally the rest of their clothes were off, and Cosette sighed.

"You know what I suddenly thought of when I was away?" Marius asked her.

"No…" she breathed, kissing him on the neck.

"I don't even know if you're ticklish," he said, a mischievous smile on his face, his dark eyes twinkling. She looked at him quizzically, but not before he began attacking her sides with his fingers. Neither heard the knock at the door.

"No! Stop!" she shrieked. He did, and he shushed her.

"Quiet!" he said, giving her his 'I'm trying to be stern but it's not working and I know you can see through it' look. They both broke down into laughter in each others arms.

The door opened. At first they didn't notice, and Aunt Gillenormond, shocked, tried to run back out of it, but then Cosette looked up, shrieked, and pulled the covers over herself, turning a bright red.

"S-sorry… I heard voices and… I thought Cosette yelled…" she just stood there.

"Umm… will you please excuse us?" Marius asked.

She just ran out of the room.

Cosette was lying completely under the covers with a pillow over her head. Marius himself was pretty embarrassed… he just stared at the closed door after her, thanking god they had been under the covers. He looked over at Cosette, and the sight made him laugh. He tried to remove the pillow from her face, but her finger closed around it and held it tight to her face.

"What are you doing?"

"Smothering myself," she answered, muffled.

"I don't think I can let that happen," he said, taking the pillow from her again. This time she relented.

"Could anything more embarrassing happen?" she asked, her face still bright red.

Marius laughed. "Oh, come on. It's not that bad… she could have caught us really in the middle of something…"

"That's not really helping."

"Oh, well. She needs something to restart her old heart. Maybe she walked in on purpose…" For this, he got hit in the head with a pillow. "Aw, come here…" He pulled her atop him. "It could be worse. A real thief could have come in tonight, instead of me."

Cosette shuddered a bit. "Thank goodness… and I am really, really happy to see you, Marius," she smiled tenderly, before shuddering again.

"What?"

"I was thinking about breakfast tomorrow morning… that will be a silent affair."

"She's usually silent. No one else will know the difference."

"But we will."

"True," he acquiesced. "Now… just how happy to see me were you again?"

She leaned in closer, before whispering: "Just about this much…" he could feel her hot breath on his face, and then pulled her passionately towards him, loving the feeling of their bar skin together, like electric velvet.

Afterwards, they lay intertwined together, Marius' arm around Cosette and their legs wound into a complicated pattern.

"I've grown so used to having you sleep next to me that a big bed alone in an inn was cold and lonely. Besides, inns are just frightening in general," Marius told her.

"I agree. And I was so bored. There's not much to do here, you know, when no one here wants to do anything with you. But how are inns frightening?"

"Just think about how many people have slept in the same bed before you… it's not pleasant."

"Marius, we spent our wedding night in your grandfather's bed, and you think inns are frightening?"

"Cosette…" he tried to offer a witty reply and came up short. He just poked her, and then shook his head as though trying to expel thoughts from his brain. "Why did you have to remind me of that?"

"I just thought I'd give you something interesting to think about."

"Like my ninety year old grandfather and his mistresses? I was content being bored. Why are you thinking about things like that?" he teased in mock-horror.

"Like I said, I was bored. I had nothing else to think about while you were gone."

He just shook his head with a mock mourning look on his face. "What happened to the innocent Cosette I used to know?" he asked the ceiling.

"Her husband left her in the company of a ninety-year-old man and a grumpy old woman for three weeks, and she had to entertain herself somehow, that's what."


I know the dialogue's a bit out of the period, but it was in French anyway so whatever. Hope you like it!